tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 5, 2013 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
and that was an error. because within machines of the photograph appearing, here is how the nra responded. one picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun control scheme imaginable. you see, the nra is essentially a lobby of conspiracy theorists who believe that everyone is working in cahoots to take away their guns. here are some of the organizations from their own website that the nra believes are their most virulent enemies. the american academy of pediatrics, the national association of black nurses, the police foundation, and the ywca. you see, just like producing his birth certificate in response to the contemptible racist smears the birther movement, that photograph won't do anything to stop the conspiracies and that's because this has never been about empirical evidence or
verifiable facts. it's about dehumanizes this president and no birth certificate no, skeet shooting photograph is ever going to persuade them to change their minds. thanks so much for watching this afternoon. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. running for cover. let's play "hardball." ♪ good eke. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this crying and gnashing of republican teeth. it started with karl rove wailing in the gop wilderness screaming for an end to crazy candidates. no more rape candidates, he said. in fact, he cried that out. no more akins or mourdocks and the rest. all that did ways a way i cannen the sleeping dogs.
joe walsh is out there today with a new political action committee. steve king and paul brown are howling in fur yi that big shots like rove are saying who should be the republican nominees and who shouldn't. today it was eric cantor's turn. he wants change. the super hawk of the party gave his manifesto at the city's nonprofit war room, the american enterprise institute. what he came out for, nom tu decree that colleges have to conduct employment surveys to say what jobs there are for history majors, english majors. i guess he wants to cut down on these people taking liberal subjects in college that allow you to think and express yourself. he sounds like he wants the federal government to have become a helicopter mom hovering over all of us. and they say democrats are intervening in people's live. what will republicans do next to try to defrekt from their
history of starting unnecessary wars, chasing may norths and others from the polling places. helping me to explain the latest republican face lift are john feehery and dee dee myers. we'll start with this. we know karl rove plans on finding more electable republicans candidates as he finds them. what we heard was a kinder, gentler eric cantor than the one we have seen and heard before. remember the obstructionist majority leader, remember his name was cantor, who fought the president on the debt ceiling. he called the obama administration the imperial presidency. he stepped out today to show there are no rough edges in this republican party. let's listen to cantor today. >> we'll advance proposals aimed at producing results in areas like education, health care, innovation, and job growth. our solutions will be based on the conservative principles of
self-reliance, faith in the individual, trust in family, and accountability in government. our goal is to ensure that every american has a fair shot to the earn success and achieve their dreams. >> what a cover-up. your party ought to be ashamed of itself. you spent months in every state legislative capital trying to keep black people and poor people from voting or young people. now you're out pretending that you care about opportunity in america. it's an absurdity eric cantor -- >> the speech by eric cantor was a very good speech. >> if it wasn't given by him maybe. >> eric cantor is a good guy. he's got a family. he cares about this country. he's a patriot. he cares about making government work better and this is a reform speech. i thought -- because it was practical. i think for republicans they can't be the party of bob dole caring only about the deficit. they have to care about practical -- the reason you're
so upset is you know it was a good speech. >> he went over to the aei, the number one war center, ths totally neocon. your thoughts. this is hopeless. i thought he'd admit the truth here today. >> it was pa joring to hear some of that -- >> hasn't he been the guy standing behind boehner's back waiting to trip him over because he's been too moderate. >> no question. he's been standing off center stage waiting for his opportunity to become speaker. i thought that there was a lot of practicality in the speech but not any big ideas. i think -- >> it was like sundries and knowings in a drugstore. little items, like telling colleges they got to tell people what employment prospects there are for english majors. what's that about? cantor -- let's take a look. he took a approach that the university education should be more like a vocational school, a school you can learn a trade. he suggested kids be told by
colleges what major earn the most money so families make better choices. >> -- college provided prospective students with reliable information on the employment rate and potential earnings by major. whether parents had access to clear and understandable breakdowns between academic studies and amenities. what would those costs be? armed with this knowledge, families and students can make better decisions about where to go to school and how to budget their tuition dollars. students would actually have a better chance of graduating within four years and getting a job. >> i want to give you an open shot. this is the republican party, no the mommy party. they don't believe in being helicopter moms and telling people how to live, the nancy society, whatever you guys are calling it. here is a government official talking about the need for colleges apparently he's going to pass a law to do this, to make sure if you apply -- if you dare to major in philosophy you get a warning right up front. no jobs in that department. don't go theology, nothing
happening with that crowd. what's the government doing messing around with this kind of stuff? your thoughts? >> i'm not the best because i'm a history major. >> i mageed basically in philosophy. >> i think that for a lot of parents who are worried about the high cost of education, especially college education, if they want to know and they should know, what are they getting out of that deal and what are the best majors. i think a little guidance is not a bad thing. >> since when a liberal arts, the heart -- >> i'm a pro liberal arts guy. >> have anything to do -- when has it ever been the case. >> right now people are worried about job. >> sure. >> and if what parents are -- >> in other words, don't study history. john, you're not a duddite. >> i know what it is. >> tonight take philosophy, languages, take few examiner scibeses. is that the republican message? >> it's not the republican message. i do think there's truth in advertising. maybe that's a good idea. i do agree of a well-rounded
education is good for everybody. >> back to your game of depends who says this. if a democrat said this, we want the government of the united states making sure that colleges list the economic productivity of various majors. you're an intellectual. you know how to handle this. what major would you have majored? of this idea how you can predict your future based on your major is i think crazy by the way. >> and, you know, i was a political science major which i didn't declare until spring quarter of my senior year and barely got out thereof. i think that's a bad idea. >> should the government be involved in this? >> no, the government -- >> the people who most like this are the parents. please major in something you can get a job and having that kind of data would be very helpful for parents. i don't think necessarily you want the government saying this and i don't think that's what cantor -- >> why was cantor talking -- the republican party has huge problems with minorities, young
people, on issues like choice and things like that. they're getting killed. why is this a remake of the republican party? >> bill clinton did very well -- they focused on issue that is people cared about and what people care about are college education, the cost of college -- >> if the gop is going to reband itself it has to deal with the monitor that eric cantor helped create. u.s. congressman paul brown is expected to run for the georgia senate seat held by retiring -- i used to think this guy was right wing, sackby chambliss. broun said this, i think the only constitution that barack obama upholds is the soviet constitution, not this one. he has no concept of this one though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer. steve king who suggested president obama's parents may have announced his birth by telegram from africa. can your party stop its candidates being taken up by nuts. >> i think for washington people
to say to grat roots activists we have to tell you how your going to make -- >> how do you stop these groups from winning? >> you know what you need to do? you need to educate the voter and get back to the -- >> get them with the right majors. >> hit them with the right -- >> and marco rubio is a great example of somebody who has an alternative candidate. you throw the baby out with the bath water. i don't think you can mandate for that from the top down whether it's the democratic party or republican party. >> how do you avoid -- we know somebody said in your party a few bad apples spoil the bunch and i do think that's true. i think people took advantage. i did, of the enact you had mourdock and akin running. the joke was you have to say which rape candidate. didn't o'donnell hurt you? didn't that woman out -- i forget her name -- >> sharron angle. don't these names hurt you? >> they're frustrated by the candidates they put up and lost but they like the candidates they ran and one, markco rubio,
pat toomey. this is a process, a messy process. for washington to dictate to the grassroots how they're going to vote is very, very dangerous. >> it's not the grassroots that's a problem in mi view. there's a certain acceptable fringe in the republican party that has ideas, and that's why the rape comments were so devastating because it wasn't that he said something that was just ill considered and just came out of the top of his mouth. it was that it unearthed a strain of thought that's tolerated within the party that's not tolerable to most americans. that's the problem -- >> and the problem with that is then we lose the seat. that's the problem. >> you lose the seat but -- >> what you have to have -- >> it's a -- >> it's a vetting process and a training process -- >> but you also need more internal discipline. you can't let people sort of sneak in under the edge of the tent and pretend they -- >> let me ask you, it's your party. i think the republican party, moderate republican party is a minority party. i agree you have a problem. if you're just people who are fiscally conservative, a bit less for government than the
democrats and you don't have any wild people on abortion rights or wild people, old segregationist ideas, take away the fringies, your party is about 40%. i see the problem. to get to 50% you have to bring in the nut cases. >> actually -- i actually think to get to 50% is you need to bring in the moderate. >> then tough dump the right. >> what you need to do is candidates who can go beyond. i think that's what i like about paul ryan and eric cantor and marco rubio -- >> do you think the survivalists in tents in -- the guys who think black helicopters are coming would vote for a moderate republican, a centrist republican like rubio? >> he's a tea party candidate. >> would they go that far. >> some wood and some woond. the fact of the matter is you need to find candidates that can win the most votes. and that's a very difficult process. you have to get -- the question for a lot of republicans -- >> what's the answer? >> i think you need to build a
coalition and find a coalition that can get a majority vote. >> i think you lose the right when you go to the center. >> it depends who the candidates are. >> that's why you people are hugging those peoples. you like the crazy. >> i don't like crazies. i like winners. >> you had them for a while but romney wasn't authentic. >> that was a big problem. >> it is a problem. thank you, we agree. romney wasn't authentic. thank you, dedee dee. john. how far can we go when we go after the bad guys? there's a lot of debate over the justice department memo that concludes the u.s. can kill american citizens tied to al qaeda. even if they're not involved in an active plot at the time to attack the united states. i understand the civil liberty's concern but ask yourself if. if an american had put on a nazi uniform in world war ii, wouldn't we have gone after him. block the vote. democrats have had enough of republican efforts to make it harder for them to vote. they are about to push legislation to make it easier to vote and to register and they're expecting help from the white
house. flooding the zone. immigration, guns. those two issues, the budget, president obama is trying to overwhelm republicans on multiple fronts right now to prevent them from organizing effective opposition to any one of these issues and guess what? it just might work. flooding the zone. here is just one more reason eric cantor has a long way to go to rebrand the gop. a tea partier just referred to some americans as, ready for this one, ethnically challenged. good luck with that rebranding, eric. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. you know what's impressive? a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel. delivering whatever the world needs, when it needs it. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? here is just one more reason ♪ if we took the nissan altima
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welcome back to "hardball." the legal and moral debate about the use of drones has burst into the public in a big way after nbc's michael isikoff reported on a justice department memo that gives the u.s. legal justification for targeting american citizens abroad. according to that memo an american can be killed without judicial review if it's determined he or she is a senior operations official in al qaeda. that was the case in 2011 when a drone strike killed anwar al al lack can i. eric holder defended the memo and the process behind it. >> one of the things i want to make sure everybody understands is that our primary concern is to keep the american people safe, but to do so in a way that's consistent with our laws and consistent with our values. we say that we only take these kinds of actions when there's an imminent threat, when capture is
not feasible, and when we were confident that we're doing so in a way that's consistent with federal and international law. >> well, civil liberties advocates have reacted to that strongly saying the process is clouded in secrecy and the legal justifications are murky at best. for example there's the question of how it's determined who should be on the government's hit list. according to the memo, quote, it's up to an informed high-level official of the u.s. government who, quote, has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the united states, close quote. nbc investigative correspondent michael isikoff broke the story and robin wright is a tremendous scholar at the woodrow wilson center here in washington and also the u.s. institute of peace and i respect her tremendously as a reporter as i do this correspondent, michael isikoff. so you broke the story. you found this memo. what did it tell you or tell us? a lot of our people are progressives, they're concerned about this. it's one of those areas where there's a real tradeoff you have to do. catch the bad guys, respect
american values. >> this has been one of the most secretive policies of the obama administration, the use of drones, and controversial. it's been expansive. the drone strikes have dramatically increased under president obama. >> a drone is an unmanned vehicle that goes into a place, drops a bomb, and comes back. >> and missiles attached that can be used to kill the target. now, where it gets most controversial is when you talk about american citizens, and they have acknowledged that they are using drones in select cases against american citizens, and they have outlined publicly, attorney general holder last year gave a speech outlining publicly what the legal standards were for use of drones against american citizens or lethal operations against american citizens. the significance of the memo is if you read the memo closely, it provides considerable more detail than was in holder's speech when he outlined what the legal framework was, and as you can see in some of the language
you quoted, the standards are a bit more expansive and a bit more -- there's a bit more leeway for policymakers than was let on in their public statements, and in particular that standard of imminent threat of a violent attack. >> let me go to -- >> when you read the memo it's a bit -- >> i know. it's always tough to get intel right. intel can be wrong as we learned in iraq. let me ask you about the prints. here. if someone joins an army that's determined to destroy the united states or re-establish the caliphate or hover you want to put it, is that person still an american? that's a great question. are they still americans if they're taking up arms against the united states? >> legally they're still americans. there are americans that have engaged in terrorist attacks within the united states. that's not the issue. the problem is the standards are rather subjective. it leaves us vulnerable to someone making a decision that's this sensitive on the basis of what may be partial -- >> suppose we find out that
somebody with pretty good certitude is out to get us, they're involved with bombing our people, killing americans in uniform or not, what are we supposed to do? >> that's the big problem. the bottom line is we're going through a tremendous change in the nature of we're shifting to a period where we're looking how to fight wars that do not involve troops on the ground. we're using drones or unmanned aircraft and there's a whole change of them, and special forces that go in in strategic operations. the problem with the difference between osama bin laden and anwar allah can i is bin laden was in one place for a long period of time that allowed special forces to train, figure out how to deal -- >> we saw the movie. >> anwar al awlaki was moving around. that's the pattern of most of the extremist that the united states is trying to find and confront. and so drones have become the fast action response in a way that you can't use special
forces. it would have taken a very long time to get in and put troops on the ground to get -- >> michael, what are the politics? what are the sensitivities? i think i know what they are. how do you treat an american as a bad guy and he or she still gets rights. >> one of the reasons it's getting traction today is less because of the policy as opposed to the secrecy that the obama administration has adopted in explaining -- >> are they afraid of aclu lawyers getting involved? >> like all administrations, they believe they're doing the right thing and they don't want to share their internal thought processes with the public, but we had these huge battles during the bush years over the torture memos and other -- >> who is making the call? the attorney general, the head of the cia? who makes the call when we send in a drone. is it the army, the cia, is it the attorney general? >> a lot of recent reporting has shown it's actually barack obama
himself -- >> through the nsc. >> he is the informed high-level official -- >> does he have to give an official finding? does he have to have a finding? does he have to -- >> there's a finding that supports the policy, but i don't know that he needs -- >> does he have fingerprints when he makes one of these decisions like -- >> not public ones. in fact, they won't discuss the public -- deliberations at all. listen, until last year they wouldn't acknowledge the drone policy existed. >> can you tell from your reporting if there's any conflict of conscience within the administration or they agree we need to do this in the war we're in now? >> look at panetta's comments to chuck todd the other day on "meet the press" in which he said making these decisions about who should die and who should not, who should get targeted, were really tough ones and he agonized about that. that ought to give you a clue these are not all open and shut cases. >> i think leon is a
conscientious guy. he goes to church every day. i think sometimes you have to do things that are not nice. we're fighting a war. >> i don't think -- >> it's a tough one for me. robin, i'm on the tough side of this one. i think we have to fight our enemies but great reporting. great disclosure. we ought to know what we're doing. michael isikoff, thank you, and thank you. great to have you at nbc and robin wright, one of my favorite correspondents. up next, chris christie's poll numbers up through the roof. he was on letterman and he's making the jokes about his own weight eating a doughnut. that's ahead, and this is "hardball," the place for politics. yo, give it up, dude!
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about chris christie of new jersey. last night was no different, except governor christie was actually on the program. let's watch. >> i have made jokes about you not just one or two, not just ongoing here and there, intermittent but -- >> i didn't know this was going to be this long. we've kept track in my office, and you're up to 362,000, and that's just on the fat jokes. here are two of them we particularly light. first one is celebrity birthday today. chris christie turned 50. he blew out the candles on his cake and he wished for another cake. $1 billion will be spent on potato chips for super bowl sunday and that's just at governor christi's house.
>> that's what ambitious politicians have to do, be good sports. missouri's house speaker signed on to a petition in 2009 alleging that president obama's not a u.s. citizen. recently jones was asked the obvious question. what was he thinking? and while you're watching, see if you recognize this set, the tv set here. >> for a while you were part of a lawsuit that ended up being dismissed in federal court alleging that president obama might not be a legitimate candidate because he might not have been born in the united states. i mean, having looked at that, i guess my initial question with all due respect is how could someone who is a public servant put their name on something that ridiculous? that's just completely off the wall and delusional, isn't it? >> well a constituent of mine, a personal constituent of mine, asked me to look at the situation. for a long time the president did not want to produce that documentation. he eventually did. he prodoused a certificate of live birth and i have been satisfied with that production. >> well, a personal constituent
asked him to look into the issue and his logical next step was signing on to participate with the lawsuits. the queen of the birthers, orally tate. todd akin made his legitimate rape comments on the same show. americans for prosperity backed by the koch brothers held what they call a citizen watch dog training course for michigan residents. one of the suggests was school choice with an emphasis on creating more charter schools. norman hughes, a tea party patriots member and a speaker at the event, made the case that charter schools don't tend to favor well-off students at the expense of their underprivileged peers. take a listen, however, courtesy of the liberal advocacy group progress michigan. >> kids aren't going to charter schools if they're "a" students. they go to charter schools because they're failing students, and by and large the charter schools have a higher
percentage of poor families, ethnically challenged families. >> what is an ethnically challenged family? ethnically challenged? challenged by your ethnicity to what, by what? this is what prompted karl rove to start his new project, to stop offensive comments like frf defining the republican party. ethnically challenged. finally -- i'm sure that runs really well with people who are minorities. here is an endorsement from bill clinton for betty white. >> it's important to have a leader who has won the respect and affection of our nation in the way betty has. after all, she's gained praez all the way from president obama to george w. of course, i'm talking about president barack obama and george washington. and i know the position would come naturally to betty as she
has lived for so long in a place called the white house. >> wow. i think the president ought to go out and get a hamburger. he's getting a little skinny. and that was taped for what nbc is calling betty white's second annual 90th birthday special which airs tonight on nbc. she recently turned 91. president obama, by the way, taped his own birthday video for last year's betty white event. up next, conservatives are hitting back against karl rove who thinks he and not the voters should be picking best candidates for senate and other high offices. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate.
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nasdaq up a big 40 points. dell computer shares rallied today. it's being taken private in a $24 billion buy out deal. however, shares of mcgraw-hill, the parent of the ratings agency standard & poor's slid nearly 11%. the government accuses the firm about misleading investors about mortgage securities in the run up to the financial crisis. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." ♪ welcome fwak to "hardball." we're seeing an epic strategy war now been the gop. along with an epic opportunity for democrats to exploit it. as we told you yesterday, karl rove has launched a pac to influence republican primaries and keep those deemed too extreme, think todd akin and richard mourdock, from getting nominated and blowing winnable
races. it has not been well received on stage right. matt kibbe writes the empire is striking back. an orwellian named victory project is created with at sole mission of blocking the efforts of fiscally conservative activists across the country. a statement from tea party express called the pac a big mistake that will lead to neither conservatives nor victories. anyway, joe walsh, former illinois congressman, tweeted that he's filing the paperwork to form a super pac of his own to support freedom loving conservatives to karl rove. the republicans' challenge here, make the tent big enough that the base has a voice and votes but doesn't drive the train. let's bring in steve mcmahon hand michael steele. michael, force the defense, is the republican party capable of garnering all kinds of fringe voters, people on the very hard right, without having right wing candidates as your nominees and losing elections?
how do they do both? >> look, this whole idea of having another pac is just to me -- it's just too out there. all you have to do to get together, organize at the state parties, put the state parties in charge of the political process. when i was state chairman, when i was a county chairman, i had to instill the discipline at the state level to make sure we were grooming and developing the kind of candidates you want to run. you just can't leave it to an open process and then swing in with yet another pac that's going to divert money away from the state, concentrated here for consultants and vendors in washington and then complain afterwards as we saw in 2012 when you get your clock cleaned again, oh, gee, it's the candidates, it's the state party. there's got to be a concerted effort by the rnc to get off their behinds, get involved in the states, and make them the leadership here. don't rely on a karl rove or reince priebus. the state chairman really has the opportunity to vet the candidates up front and to build the party from the bottom up and
inviting those activists who are frustrated to be a part of the process. >> how do you democrats exploit this? we have the republican establishment disdainful of its right wing and trying to prevent it from getting any candidacies. >> how do we exploit it? >> yeah. >> you remember the old rule from lee at water, when the component is self-destructing get out of the way. >> that goes back to napoleon. >> for the democrats, you watch these guys and you see on the one hand they have lost the middle which is great for the democratic party because everything they lose we pick up. on the other hand, they're attacking their base which is going to result in not victories for moderate candidates who can win general elections but it's going to result in right wing candidates getting their backs up, getting in these primaries, and they're low turnout primaries and they win and then they can't win general elections. >> let's talk about another strategy which is called flood the zone like in basketball or football. you get so many players in one area, somebody is going to catch the ball. president obama has been
relentless in agitating for action on a number of issues he wants to address. yesterday in minnesota it was gun restrictions. today it's immigration reform with business and labor leaders meeting at the white house. nbc's first read identifies the strategy. the obama white house wants to overlead washington's political sirtes in an effort to see what he can get through congress without letting congress define what issues get addressed. so throw a lot of stuff out them, immigration, guns hoping that the republicans are so flabbergasted by so many things to deal with, they can't get their act together. >> and he's done it brilliantly. on the fiscal cliff he basically had wall street, which funds the republicans, votes republican, talks to republicans, come in and say you have got to do what the president is asking you to do. on the debt, same thing happened. the republicans said -- >> the debt ceiling. >> and wall street came in and said, yes, you are. and now on immigration reform the president is appealing to the people who understand what responsibility immigration reform can mean for business and the economy. he's actually not getting democrats to beat the republicans. he's getting republicans to beat the republicans. it's a great strategy.
>> what do you make of it, michael, from the other side. jimmy carter was accused of having too many balls in the air when he was president. this time the president wants to throw a lot at the republicans and keep them off guard. >> it reminds me of 2009 all over again. instead of focusing on the paramount issue that every american is still fising, the jobs, the economy -- >> what's the republican job program? >> it's not about the republican job -- >> you just brought it up. what's your party's program? >> you're asking about the president, let me address the president. doesn't ask about the republicans. i'm telling what you the president is doing. my analysis of what the president is doing is a smart strategy as steve noted. he's throwing a lot of things out there to see what sticks but he also has a problem on the issue like guns that harry reid is not sitting up champing at the bit to do gun legislation coming out of the senate, by the way. so -- >> but the american public, michael, is he. >> well, we know what the american public wants and what
the united states senate and congress wants is sometimes two different things. that's the point. the president is trying to triangulate these interests to put his agenda out there to put the republicans on the defense to cobble together what he needs from the democrats to get something done. meanwhile we still have unemployment at 7.9% and 22 million american unemployed. >> michael, you don't have and the president doesn't have but i have a jobs program. rebuild america. big time. we do it in our ads. it's called lean forward. >> but how does he do it when -- >> 3% interest rate right now. you can borrow the money at practically nothing to get the job done. >> that's right. >> try to get the loan, chris. try to get the loans. >> you get a 30-year loan at 3% would have no impact on the deficit. >> you do that and see what happens. >> i'm not president. >> he should be perhaps. >> unfortunately or fortunately but neither is the case. thank you, guys. i do have a plan though that neither -- i say put people to work rebuilding this country because we did it in the 'fifts with ike. remember do nothing
identification. >> this isn't the '50s. >> watch the ads. up next, democrats are fighting back against republican efforts to make it harder to vote and that's ahead. republicans can't resist this stuff. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. when you have diabetes... your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes.
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our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. >> we're back. democrats are pushing back and pushing back hard against republican efforts to hold down the minority vote. in other words, the democratic vote. and one example, florida governor rick scott and the republican-led state legislature last year slashed early voting from 14 days down to 8, and actually cut off voting the sunday before the election. that's when many african-americans traditionally vote taking their as they put it souls to the polls right after church. the result in miami date county, florida, some folks waited for up to seven hours to vote down there. a study from the democratic polling firm peter hart research shows nationwide hispanics and african-americans were more likely to wait 30 minutes or longer to vote than white voters. obama voters in general had to wait longer to vote than romney voters. well, new york senator kirsten
gillibrand and james clyburn of south carolina are teaming up to push for the voter empowerment act. congressman clyburn is with me now. the constitution is so tricky here. can you -- i'm told you can -- change these local state laws when they're being manipulated in many cases by republican legislatures? >> well, i don't know if we can legislatively change the state laws, but we can, in fact, change laws as they relate to federal elections, and so to the extent that a state law will have impact or affect a federal election, we can, in fact, manage what happens with federal elections. now, you may recall that's the way we got the 18-year-old the right to vote. states didn't do it. federal law was passed to allow 18-year-olds to vote in federal elections. of course, the impact of that was that states later came along and did it -- >> was that a constitution
amendment? wasn't that a constitutional amendment? >> i'm saying but it was done for federal elections, not state elections. >> okay. let me ask you about what's been going on recently. 2004 ohio, some people think there was some vote chiseling out there that affected the vote and caused great long lines up in cleveland. same thing in florida. some people believe that rick scott, the governor we just suggested that, had a hand in making it tougher tougher for m to vote. is it your belief state authorities have been abusing their authority? >> absolutely. i was in florida -- i'm sorry. i was in ohio. akron, ohio, the friday before the elections. and i can tell you the secretary of state out there was doing all kinds of things to dilute the impact of black voters. in precincts they were voting --
multiple voting precincts into one voting place thereby creating pressure on the system that would cause long lines to form. and you know people would be discouraged. other people would have to give up, not being able to take care of their children. i talked to people in south carolina who went back home because they could not afford to be away from their children more than a couple of hours to vote. so this has been happening throughout 41 states. many of them have passed legislation that will bring great pressure on the system. and i want to thank you, chris, because your pro promo pieces on the subject have been fantastic and started people to thinking about what's going on here. >> well, i hope it's had an impact. i do believe one thing that happened, i think a lot of african-americans got very upset when it became clear that a lot of people in power in states like florida and across the
country, pennsylvania my home state, were manipulating the law to keep them from voting. i think a lot of people got red hot about that. i hope that's what happened. >> absolutely. that's what happened in florida. yes, it happened in florida as well. and got some people standing five or six hours in line because they were angry. >> i'd be angry. >> in ohio, people got very, very angry in ohio. that's why you had the big surge. there was 11% in 2008 of the african-american vote, got up to 15% in 2012. all because people were angry and decided to demonstrate. i want to thank governor scott down in florida for deciding to go back and now to his extended voting. >> you know what? i have great respect for you. jim clyburn in south carolina. my message for people trying to stop people from voting, screw you. we've got alex wagner. it's awful how they blew it. anyway, thank you. isn't this a great story in a
way? here you see, alex, when you watch the politics of this country, sometimes to get people roused just to heard them. say you can't vote and see what they do. it's nice to see americans rebel against that. >> there's been so much maligning of public service and, you know, exercising one's -- being a participant in the great american democracy. then you see people lining up for eight hours to vote. sometimes in states where it's not particularly contested. people believe in the electoral process which just underscores how dastardly and despicable it is that some republicans are trying to manipulate that process. you know, it's everything from the electoral college rigging that is now envogue in certain legislatures to the voter i.d. laws. it's about consolidating power in the hands of a fractious few. >> how do you square that with their efforts to get minority votes? you keep hearing the republicans want latino votes.
>> exactly. >> and want african-american votes. at the same time they're publicly trying to suppress their right to vote. >> it shows how disingenuous it is. it's like on one hand we've got to have outreach and on the other hand it's to disenfranchise voters. obama's electorate is broad and headquartered in urban areas and cities. and as such, republicans are trying to disenfranchise those kinds of voters. they are not winning those voters. they know their future as it is written in the policy they have embraced is not with those voters. so they'll do anything they can to manipulate the process to ensure the vote -- the white rule conservative voters have a disproportionate share of power. >> what about the discriminating against the right wing to get the primaries and caucuses. karl rove's latest effort to purify the republican party,
right wing elements. >> you know what? you and i have been talking about this for awhile. we have maintained this is a tunnel that has the sign heart break dead ahead sign at the end. tea partiers who have no interest in governing in an effort to win in the rural south. and as a result the tent now has two parties really. and you see a schism here. i don't know how you reconcile this fractious right wing swank with republicans who want to get legislation through and are trying to think about the party in the long-term. >> can't beat that. thank you, alex wagner, my colleague for joining us. we'll be right back. he system w. let's say you pay your guy around 2% to manage your money. that's not much you think. except it's 2% every year. does that make a difference? search "cost of financial advisors" ouch. over time it really adds up. then go to e-trade and find out how much our advice costs. spoiler alert: it's low. really? yes, really. e-trade offers investment advice and guidance
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